LA WATCHDOG - In his recent interview with Patt Morrison of The Los Angeles Times, Campaign Funding IBEW Union Bo$$ Brian d’Arcy made some very valid comments about the City’s inability to manage anything, how the politically appointed DWP Commissioners have failed the Ratepayers, the political interference from the City Council, and, of course, our politicians need for self aggrandizing press conferences. (See: Brian d’Arcy, DWP Union’s Power Guy)
He even mentioned that Ratepayers are being “gouged” by “big business” because of the artificially high feed in tariffs rates for solar power. This was confirmed by the Ratepayers Advocate whose recent presentation to the DWP Commissioners indicated that we are being soaked for an additional $250 million over the next 20 years.
While Union Bo$$ D’Arcy is an expert in manipulating City Hall to his advantage through the calculated use of cash (campaign contributions) and threats, he appears to be clueless as to what makes voters and Ratepayers tick.
For example, why did the Bo$$ back Wendy Greuel with $3 million of his members dues when Eric Garcetti was instrumental in approving and ramrodding through the City Council the very generous 11% to 19% raise in salaries in November of 2009?
Was Eric Garcetti so bold to attempt to reform DWP’s retirement benefits? Or force DWP employees to contribute to the cost of their very generous health care benefits?
As a result of the very real perception that he was trying to buy City Hall so that he could extract even more dough out of the already beleaguered Ratepayers, Union Bo$$ D’Arcy and the politically manipulated Department of Water and Power became the issue that allowed the not so parsimonious Garcetti to erode Greuel’s natural support on her home turf in the voter rich, budget conscious Valley.
Rather than accepting any blame, Bo$$ D’Arcy singled out Wendy’s “tone deaf” campaign manager that allowed a “bunch of right wing bloggers” (wonder who they could be?) to turn DWP workers into the enemy.
To the contrary, Ratepayers are appreciative of the DWP workers who do a very good job of keeping the lights on and the water running. Rather, they abhor being ripped off for over $1 billion* a year by our self righteous Elected Elite and their self serving cronies.
Ratepayers, most of whom are disproportionately heavy voters, are also upset by the obvious cover up and failure of the Energy and Environment Committee headed by the politically ambitious Jose Huizar to follow through on the findings and recommendations of PA Consulting concerning the benchmarking the efficiency of DWP’s operations compared to other regional utilities, staffing levels, and compensation arrangements, including health care and pension benefits.
Ratepayers are also concerned about whether they are going to get hit up with yet another rate increase to pay for wage increases to workers whose salaries are 25% to 40% higher than industry standards.
No wonder Union Bo$$ D’Arcy fought the efforts of The Times to have DWP disclose its payroll data pursuant to the California Public Records Act, especially when it showed that the average DWP employee made over $100,000. (See: Judge Not Inclined to Let DWP to Keep Salaries and Names Secret)
However, this does not include health care and pension benefits that would bump the total to around $150,000 to $160,000 a year.
Campaign Funding Union Bo$$ D’Arcy has done an excellent job for his members by extracting over the top compensation and benefits from our Elected Elite. But given the election, now is the time to reform the labor management relations by having all labor negotiations be open and transparent, conducted by the DWP management and not our conflicted Elected Elite, and provide that the Ratepayers, the Ratepayers Advocate, and the Neighborhood Councils with at least 60 days to review any new labor contract with the IBEW.
After all, it is our money, and quite frankly, we do not trust City Hall that is controlled by Campaign Funding IBEW Union Bo$$ D’Arcy.
(* The over $1 billion rip off consists of the $250 million transfer fee / tax from the Power System to City’s General Fund; the $300 million from the 10% City Utility Tax; the $250 million IBEW Labor Premium (not including the impact of restrictive work rules); pet projects such as Griffith and Elysian Parks and the Silver Lake Reservoir; and the dumping of surplus City employees (and their unfunded pension liabilities) on DWP.)
(Jack Humphreville writes LA Watchdog for CityWatch. He is the President of the DWP Advocacy Committee, the Ratepayer Advocate for the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council, and a Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. Humphreville is the publisher of the Recycler Classifieds -- www.recycler.com. He can be reached at: [email protected]. Hear Jack every Tuesday morning at 6:20 on McIntyre in the Morning, KABC Radio 790.)
Vol 11 Issue 46
Pub: June 7, 2013